My search to help my Grandmother: A Family History

Discussion in 'US Units' started by Jordanj21, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. Jordanj21

    Jordanj21 Member

    Hello all,

    My Name is Jordan and I am very much new to the forum and in search of some much needed help. As my grandmother is getting up there in age, the search for information about her father becomes more crucial by the day. My grandmother was three years old when her father was KIA. Information has been very difficult to find about her father and I have exhausted my limited research skills in looking for anything and everything I can find to help her. If anyone is wiling to help my search I would very much appreciate it and would be happy to provide all the information I have to help with that.
     
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hi Jordan
    The name of your g grandfather would be a start on the forum.

    In the meantime your grandmother could either apply, or give consent for you to apply, for copy service records


    Good luck with your research.

    [dbf edit: to avoid confusion, removed Commonwealth related links]
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  3. Jordanj21

    Jordanj21 Member

    Yes of course, I wasn’t quite sure if I’d get a reply or not. I’m trying to so this on my own as more of a surprise to her. His information is as follows from the research I have done...
    Darold A. Hurst | American Battle Monuments Commission
    Pvt. Darold A. Hurst

    Serial# 39472219

    134th infantry Regiment, 35th infantry division

    KIA November 26th 1944 (in france?)

    I more or less have the basics just maybe would like some more detailed information if available. Possible location of death or area? Etc...

    Not sure if this is possible but any info and help is appreciated!
     
  4. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    Jordan,

    Welcome to the forum.

    With your Grandfather being an American Serviceman, have you applied for those records which may be available here: Request Your Military Service Records. There was a fire in the 1970s at the repository, so files may no longer exist, but it is worth a try.

    Also have you looked at 134th Infantry Regiment Website, which a cursory search does not seem to have your Grandfather mentioned, but the webmaster/owner of the site may be able to help you.

    Also the members of the sister forum WWII Forums, may be able to help you a little more.

    Mark
     
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  5. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Casualties are listed on the date reported, rather than the date of death. Pvt. Hurst is on the list for 29 November 1944.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  6. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Jordanj21 - Yes, France. The 35th US Inf Div at the time operated under Patton's 3rd US Army in eastern France, south of the Ardennes, a region also known as Lorraine, hence the operation later became known as the Lorraine Campaign. Patton's Army in the fall of 1944 was closing on the German West Wall defenses and threatening the Saar Industrial Region. Patton's offensive was interrupted by the German counter-attack in the Ardennes in mid-December 1944.

    For some historical background have a look here: HyperWar: US Army in WWII: The Lorraine Campaign

    specifically: Chapter X, The XII Corps Drive Toward the Sarre (18-30 November 1944), The 35th and 6th Armored Divisions Advance Toward the Sarre

    PS. Another link to a downloadable pdf-file of the book is: https://history.army.mil/html/books/007/7-6-1/CMH_Pub_7-6-1.pdf
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Thread moved to US units sub-forum
     
  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Jordan

    There are a number of records on Ancestry for your relative
    1930 United States Federal Census Darold A Hurst
    1920 United States Federal Census Darold A Hurst
    U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 Darold Anva Hurst
    World War II and Korean Conflict Veterans Interred Overseas Darold A Hurst
    U.S., Headstone and Interment Records for U.S. Military Cemeteries on Foreign Soil, 1942-1949 Darold A Hurst
    U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 Darold A Hurst
    U.S. Rosters of World War II Dead, 1939-1945 Darold A Hurst

    Public Member Photos & Scanned Documents
    [​IMG]
    Name Darold Alva Hurst
    Birth 16 Sep 1913
    Death 26 Nov 1944

    So perhaps after joining our sister site as mentioned above [ http://ww2f.com/ ] then perhaps join Ancestry.com or find a relative who is a member

    TD

    From a family tree:
    Spouse: Agnes A Steidley
    Father: Alva Willis Hurst
    Mother: Ada Beatrice Stoner
    Birth: 16/09/1913 Inman Holt Nebraska USA
    Death: 26/11/1944 Lorraine France
    Residence: 1940 Mitchell Scotts Bluff Nebraska USA
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
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  9. Jordanj21

    Jordanj21 Member

    I just wanted to say thank you to each and every one of you for your insight and information!

    This will definitely give me more of a starting point for my continued search for information.

    One other thing I was primarily looking for was some sort of report from the day he was killed, and insight to maybe what had happened causing his death on that day? I’m not sure if that’s possible or even exists, but maybe one of you may know where I could possibly look?

    Thanks again, Jordan
     
  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Jordan

    Our sister site will be able to help on that aspect. UK wise all units/regiments kept war diaries and I suspect it was the same for the US units, but where in the USA they are kept would need input from US members. I am sure the information is out there, just continue searching and asking the right questions

    TD

    Maybe use the link above and ask the questions of the website - After Action Report November 1944
    Nov 22 to 27 incl - At 1500 on the 22d the Combat Team was attached to the 6th Armd Div, closing into new assembly positions vicinity of Ersthoff and Hellimer early on the 23d with the 2d Bn remaining in Division Reserve at Linstroff. Later the same day new assembly positions were occupied, with the 1st Bn vicinity of Petit-Tenquin prepared to attack to the N & E; the 2d Battalion remaining in Div Res at Linstroff; the 3d Battalion moving to vicinity of St. Jean-Rohrbach, prepared to attack to the N & E. Both 1st and 3d Battalions were elements of Task Forces of (illegible), 6th Armd Div, the 1st with TF #1 and the 3d with TF #2. At 1300 on the 24th, TF #1 attacked and seized the town of Hilsprich under heavy artillery and mortar fire. TF #2, launching its attack at the same time, encountered and anti-tank ditch, plus heavy mortar and artillery fire, and were forced to establish an Infantry bridgehead to cover the bridging of the ditch to facilitate the movement of the armor. The next day both forces continued the advance, seizing the town of Remering, while the 2nd Bn occupied a new assembly area as Div Res at Hilsprich. On the 26th the 2d Bn was committed to the SE, seizing Hirbach and Hinsing. Extremely heavy mortar and artillery fire was received from the N & E, with accurate small arms fire from the vicinity of Holving. Reconnaissance was made by all units for possible crossing sites on the flood swollen Moderbach River. At 1650 on the 27th the regiment reverted to control of the 35th Div.
     
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  11. Jordanj21

    Jordanj21 Member

    Perfect! That gives me a place to start looking. Thank you so much for the information and your reply.

    Jordan
     
  12. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    As there seems to be an element of urgency regarding your grandmother, have you thought about contacting your Congressman or Senator to see if they can fast track your enquiries and locate unit information regarding Darold's service? Perhaps some of this is already known in your family, so could you ask around if any have information? Bear in mind that many families had only a very vague idea of what was happening in Europe at the time.
    Obviously he would have had basic training in the US, then shipped to the UK, probably before June 1944, then following D-Day he would have fought with his unit through Normandy until reaching the French/German border by late 1944.
    Pardon my remark, but if born in 1916, he would be in the older age group for fighting troops (not that 30 year old men are elderly, but he may have had some special skills that may have put him in closer proximity to the enemy, a skill at arms such as a bazooka man taking on German armour (that's the British spelling).
    Whatever, you have started the ba;; rolling, so do contact the 134th website and see if they have Unit War Diaries and find out what more you can about Patton and the US activities in the Liberation of France. Good Luck
     
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  13. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Have been reading through this document HyperWar: US Army in WWII: The Lorraine Campaign

    On 25 November the 328th broke through the north end of the line and took Vittersbourg. The next day a rifle company and eleven tanks attacked Honskirch. This first assault failed, with heavy cost to the Americans. A second assault, made in strength by the 1st Battalion, reached the double apron wire at the edge of the village but was checked there by strong small arms fire and the battalion withdrew under cover of a smoke screen.

    Jordan - it might be worth checking with the military cemetery/memorial to see if others in the same unit as your relative died on the same day - this would validate the section in red above and may provide you with some understanding, in general, of what happened on 26th Nov 1944.

    TD
     
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  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Chapter 10: The XII Corps Drive Toward the Sarre
    On the night Of 24-25 November armored infantry and engineers threw a bridge across an antitank ditch intersecting the west road into Puttelange, along which CCB intended to attack. Next day the 15th Tank Battalion crossed the bridge. It had hardly started rolling on the opposite side when a huge crater halted the move. The leading tankers took their vehicles off the road to circle around the crater‑and sank into the mud. Five medium tanks were lost here to the German antitank guns, and the 15th fell back. Farther to the south the 737th Tank Battalion (Lt. Col. F. M. Kroschel), which had been attached to CCB, also failed to make headway against mud, mines, and artillery fire. However, two rifle companies of the 134th Infantry, attached to the 737th, managed to reach the flooded Maderbach at Rernering, where they were joined by armored infantry. CCA, not yet abreast of CCB, likewise found itself involved in a foot-slogging infantry battle on the left flank. At Valette fighter‑bombers from the 377th Squadron dropped 500-pound bombs close to the German positions. Then the 9th Armored Infantry Battalion (Britton) charged up a slippery slope with fixed bayonets and cleared the German position in a hand-to-hand fight reminiscent of warfare thirty years earlier. On the following day the 69th Tank Battalion attacked through the Forêt de Puttelange in an effort to bypass the main enemy force. All went well until the tanks debouched from the eastern side of the woods. Then the enemy opened up from positions in the Maginot Line works to the east. The tanks could not maneuver through the mud and the combat team commander, Colonel Forrest, withdrew his troops to forestall any attempts at ambush in the woods. Colonel Forrest was killed by a mortar shell while checking his positions for the night.
    CCB now was in position facing the Maderbach. General Grow ordered the left to hold and sent Colonel Miltonberger's 134th Infantry to clear the west bank by an advance from Hilsprich. This mopping-up operation was successful, but attempts to move the tanks forward through the mud were of no avail.

    TD
     
  15. Jordanj21

    Jordanj21 Member

    TD,
    Thank you so much, this is information that myself and other relatives have not seen before and is quite eye opening. I can’t say how thankful I am for your help and research! This gives me so much more than what I had previously had before.
     
  16. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Jordan - I also would strongly recommend reading the book of James A.Huston, "Biography of a Battalion: The Life and Times of an Infantry Battalion in Europe in World War II".

    The book is for sale on Amazon.

    Huston served in the U.S. Army as a rifle-battalion operations officer with the 3rd battalion, 134th Infantry, which fought in France in 1944-45 as a part of Patton's Third Army. Later, he served with the Office of the Chief of Military History and the Office of the Chief of Army Field Forces, U.S. Army, and has held the Ernest J. King Chair of Maritime History at the Naval War College, Newport, R.I.

    Huston is also the author of 'Combat History of the 134th Infantry'. The latter is accessible on the internet:

    134th Infantry Regiment Combat History Table of Contents

    Chapter VIII of this book, entitled: "Through Lorraine to Germany" , would be of interest to you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
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  17. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    My impression of the operations of the 134th Infantry from Huston's Combat History:

    Puttelange.jpg

    Hope this is of help.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
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  18. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Another source you could consult are the Combat Interviews. These are unique documents used only in the US Army, they do not exist for Commonwealth units. Soon after an important action, teams of US historians in uniform working under the US Army European Theater Historical Section descended upon the units involved, interviewed commanders and men at various levels, and sometimes provided an overall covering narrative based on the interviews and the historian's observations. The materials are in rough typescript with the WW2 records in the U.S. National Archives, filed by division or Corps. They provide much more human interest material than do the official After Action Reports.

    For the 35th US Inf Div a special file (CI - 108) exists for the Sarre Operations:
    CI 108.jpg
     
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